I know is two days late, but forgive me because I didn’t have a working computer for the entire weekend and it’s not like being on campus where I can take out a loaner from The Bridge while my own is being fixed 😦
I just wanted to do a quick recap of my trip to the beautiful Lake Havasu, but also to talk about how this Independence Day was a little different for me.
First, let’s start with the trip! Lake Havasu is absolutely beautiful and it still amazes me how something so gorgeous can just exist in the middle of the desert.
A group of 11 of us from the SoDak core went together and we spent majority of the day on Saturday at the lake. We actually rented a pontoon boat for two hours which was well worth the price to be away from the crowds on the shoreline. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect Saturday not having to think about lesson plans or my move in date in August. It was a
much needed break from the buzzing life at institute. We ventured off road on Saturday evening to spend a picturesque spot to watch the sunset over the lake (pictured above) and I would argue that we definitely picked the best spot. After a tiring day in the sun Saturday, we turned in early and left Sunday morning to head back to Tempe.
While I did enjoy my weekend getaway and I’m never ashamed to rep the colors of the U.S. flag, I must admit that this Independence Day had a bit of a different connotation for me knowing that I’ll be moving to live in Pine Ridge in a few short weeks. I am proud to be an American and I can’t imagine having grown up anywhere else and I think that it is okay to celebrate July 4th. BUT, I think it is wrong to assume that Independence Day means independence for everyone. I certainly won’t claim to be an expert and would never try to, but that won’t stop me from expressing my opinions here.
It seems pretty clear to me that even today not everyone is treated equal and maybe this is something we as humans won’t ever be able to achieve, but it doesn’t mean we can ignore this fact. In 1776, white lang-owning men became free. I will continue to celebrate the 4th of July, but I will not pretend that freedom for everyone came in 1776 or that everyone has equal freedom today. I don’t really want to write an entire novel on my feelings about this in this space, but if you want to talk please reach out – I’d love to hear other opinions and challenges to my own.
So, raise a glass and cheers to the United States. Rock your red, white, and blue. Just don’t pretend that we’re done fighting for freedom.